Owner Max Tsai supplied the T in TC Kokua's name back when it was launched in 2001. A few months later, 9/11 happened and the economy turned south. Today, the company is the black. Photography by Chris J. Evans.

Local-Kine Biz: Transmitting Aloha Over the Phone

Jackie M. Young

When Max Tsai and Matt Cooley were college roommates at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo in the ‘90s, both were “unimpressed” with the customer call center service they received from companies. “Whether you have to call your utility company or cell phone company, you have to go through a call center,” explains Tsai, 49, president and Read the full article…

Designer Brooke Lynne Haugel of Peace of Paradise speaks to the panel. Photo by Aaron K. Yoshino.

Meticulously Whimsical

Daniel Ikaika Ito

It’s hard to tell if it was her business model or her impressive multimedia presentation that won Jana Lam the second annual Pitch Panel at Honolulu Fashion Week. Whatever did it, she received an impressive package of business services, advertising and other resources and opportunities that will help take her “meticulously whimsical” prints to the Read the full article…

Gamepress CEO Nick Winters with some of the iconic Pokemon characters. Illustration by Zijun Li.

Game On

Dave Dondoneau

In the virtual world of apps and video games, a locally founded startup called GamePress has created a global gathering place. GamePress’ site, pokemongo.gamepress.gg, drew a staggering 20 million unique visitors in July when the popular GPS-based mobile game was released. “The typical traffic for a very popular site would be 4 to 5 million Read the full article…

Historic buildings contribute to the character of Rice Street. The planning codes that will guide its revitalization encourage historic preservation. The codes also call for attractive streetscapes, mixed-use zoning and buildings that meet pedestrians at the sidewalk, rather than be recessed. Photography by Brian Finch

Re-Birth on Rice Street

Brittany Lyte

The best days passed decades ago for downtown Lihue. Today, sidewalks are narrow, cracked and littered. Parks, lawns and benches are hangouts for the homeless. Once a proud gathering place, Rice Street is now little more than a thoroughfare for motorists en route to someplace else. There’s pretty much nothing to do,” says Jade Nguyen, Read the full article…

Sunset during the 2016 East Meets West VIP reception at the IBM building. Photo courtesy of Blue Startups.

East Meets West in Startup Paradise

Nicole Tam

Asian and Mainland entrepreneurs and investors will experience a different East Meets West startup conference next month – and that’s not just because some business ideas will be pitched in outrigger canoes. Honolulu-based Blue Startups is hosting the third annual conference on Jan. 19 and 20, 2017 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Chenoa Farnsworth, managing Read the full article…